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Next stage of construction will close parking and sections of Loop Road

Image of Construction sites

Tobey Veenstra
The Broadside

Although students have seen a lot of change at Central Oregon Community College in the past few months, there are still many to come according to COCC’s construction managers.

In addition to the building of the new health and careers building by the bookstore, construction is set to begin on the new science building which will close more parking lots and a portion of Loop Road.

The closure will take place during the week of Feb. 21, according to Rick Hayes, the science building’s construction project manager. This closure will affect various places across campus.

“Changes will happen,” said Gene Zinkgraf, COCC’s construction director. “It’s going to be different for a while.”

The Kirby Nagelhout Construction Company is currently the apparent lowest bidder for the science building as of last Thursday. The building is set to open fall 2012.

Fewer parking spaces
The new construction will take place in the student parking lots below the Deschutes building, shutting down those lots and the portion of Loop Road below it. In addition, the student parking lot above Pence will be converted to faculty and staff parking.
To compensate for the decrease in student parking spaces, COCC’s safety and security department will open two new, smaller parking lots on the northeast and southeast sides of campus. Even with the new lots, there will be an overall cut to parking spaces.

“It’s going to be a challenge no matter how you slice it,” said Rob McDilda, COCC’s safety and security supervisor.
COCC’s security coordinator Jim Bennett said the changes will be “a bit of a learning curve for students” and there will be signs placed around campus to help students and direct the traffic flow.

Bennett and McDilda have also considered putting flaggers on Loop Road to further assist students.

A new shuttle schedule

COCC’s shuttle schedule will also be affected by the new construction. It will still start at the bottom of the campus hill at 7:30 a.m., but instead of going to Ponderosa and the Campus Center afterwards it will make a stop in the lower parking lot of the serpentine road.

The shuttle will also stop at the Campus Center instead of Mazama. These changes to the schedule will take place Feb. 21.

Current construction

The building of the new health and careers building is currently underway. Although this has closed off the Loop Road portion next to the bookstore to pedestrians, many students still use it.

“We’d really like to emphasize that students take the Metolius pathway,” said Zinkgraf, referring to the new stairs leading up to the Metolius building directly across from Campus Center. “It’s a safety issue … It can be dangerous any time pedestrians walk in the same area as cars, especially when there’s snow and ice.”

The health and careers building is set to open summer 2012.

New Shuttle Route
New Shuttle Route
Shuttle Schedule
Based on image courtesy of COCC

As of Feb. 21, the Campus Shuttle will run on a new route and schedule due to construction

Tobey Veenstra can be reached at tveenstra@cocc.edu

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